Yeshua in ancient Hebrew.
Welcome to The Real Yeshua Project!
Why is the Real Yeshua Project important? Today, it is estimated that 1/3 of the world's population -- over 2.2 billion people (includes over 225 million Americans) -- identify themselves as "Christians." Those stats are very misleading because it sounds like a single religion named "Christianity is spread around the world. World Christian Trends AD 30–AD 2200 reports paints a very different picture, however. In 2000 it showed that globally Christianity consisted of 33,820 denominations/paradenominations, while in 1970 there were 18,630. Today the number is estimated to be around 40,000. Most of these groups are independent and not linked to one another. In addition, church splits are often common factors in their origins. From about a century after the crucifixion of Yeshua, the Jesus of history, until today -- no group linked to the original Yeshua Movement is known to have existed.
With the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, the roots of the Yeshua Movement and the other Jewish sects were severed from their common source -- Second Temple Judaism and the Judea/Galilee culture linked to it. Over the next few centuries, Rabbinic Judaism became the new Jewish religion with centers of rabbinic authority in Babylon and Galilee.
The Yeshua Movement and Paul's Movement, whose members were first called "Christians" by outsiders in Antioch, became the religion that spread throughout the Roman Empire as the Yeshua Movement faded into obscurity. Paul's Christianity quickly split into many separate independent groups controlled by local bishops from a variety of cultural heritages and who did not speak Hebrew like Yeshua. Their followers shared those cultures and languages. New meaning for Yeshua's words emerged from the Gentile minds and languages of the new Gentile Christians. The groups remained independent until 325 CE when Roman Emperor Constantine called for a council of bishops from all churches to meet in Nicea. It was there that modern Christianity was born and it became the Roman Catholic Church. It would be 1,300 years later that the Roman Catholic priest Martin Luther would be excommunicated -- and that led to the creation of the new religion called Protestantism.
In the 15th century a new way of thinking emerged to create the Scientific Revolution. Until then the church authority (being the authorized agents of God) and aristocratic bloodlines controlled gateways to power and wealth. The power of science rest on sensory perceivable observations, facts and transparency. People didn't question the authority of church leaders or kings and remain part of the group very long or alive in many cases. On the other, the foundation of science is built on questions about claims made by others. Obviously, this point alone ignited conflict between the two models.
From the 17th century until the 19th century Christian groups and science mostly agree to operate in their circles and refrain from invading the other's spaces. But when Charles Darwin publish his theory of evolution the answer to the question -- What is man? -- created a conflict that could not be avoided. Christian leaders responded with claims that solely relied on the validity of their claims of divine authority. Scientists responded with research based on sensory perceivable observations, facts and theories. It should be noted that many of the church splits that have fragmented Christianity were also ignited over conflicting claims over divine authority.
Today we are living in the Information Age and anyone that is able to connect to Google or Yahoo has massive amounts of information about any religion, including Christianity. Lack of knowledge about the histories of any religion's institutions, belief systems, past actions, etc. are available to the world. Those that try to hide behind authority will find themselves in struggles to survive. Bringing transparency to Christianity is an important part of the Real Yeshua Project.
Some say that it would be good if Christianity just disappeared, but we disagree because of the one thing all forms of Christianity share -- Jesus. We believe that if Christians explored their heritages in ways that are transparent and heard the messages of Yeshua -- they would understand the value of his words today. Science, politics and special interest groups are not sources of universal morals and values and their groups are small and polarized. Churches have existing communities, facilities, staffs, etc. and they are spread around the world.
Yeshua's messages and movement focused on protecting and preserving human life, freeing people from oppression and repairing the world as a whole. If what Yeshua taught was incorporated into the lives of Christians today, they would be safer, better, happier, healthier and much more fulfilled right here on earth.
The Real Yeshua Project is not about recreating religious groups like those that existed in early first century in Judea and Galilee. It is not to go back in time. It is to apply Yeshua's ideas, principles and wisdom to the 21st century and let it evolve as people discover the origins of their religious or anti-religious beliefs, understand Yeshua's words within their cultural/linguistic contexts, create new relationships and add what they discover to the mix. We invite you to join this exciting transparent journey with us.